Woman With EDS Fires Back After Being Accused of Misusing Disabled Parking
Cameron McMillin has a form of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), and after parking in a disabled spot at Rocklin Elementary School in Rocklin, California, on Feb. 4, she received a rude note from a stranger who accused her of misusing her disabled parking placard.
The note, addressed to both McMillin and a friend, read:
It appears that you are both able bodied. It’s disappointing to see the misuse of that disabled placard here at Rocklin Elemtary. Please reserve this spot for those who are truly less fortunate than you. Thank you.
McMillin says the note reduced her to tears, so she responded with a simple yet powerful Facebook post (below) she hopes will encourage others to think twice before judging someone with an invisible illness. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a group of connective tissue gene disorders, and symptoms include skin that tears or bruises easily and unstable joints prone to frequent dislocations, among other issues.
The post reads:
I think it’s my turn to say something. Hello. My name is Cameron McMillin. Today you made me cry, but that’s okay. I’d like to take this time to inform you about a medical condition that I have called Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome. It is a connective tissue condition that causes pain in my joints, muscles, and all throughout my body, dislocated hips, knees, ankles, and ribs, heart palpitations, organ problems, multiple surgeries, and many more. You have no idea what I go through every single day. I know you made a snap judgement by what you saw, but what you see on the outside is not what exists on the inside. My body may be weak, but I am strong. Next time please get to know a person before you make a comment like this. People who have Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome are never heard and I want to change that. It’s about time we gain a voice. ❤
“Rare disease and invisible disabilities affect many millions of us around the world,” Mark Martino, a spokesperson for the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation told The Mighty. “The more we speak up, the more visible we become; and with visibility comes not only the respect we all deserve, but also the attention of researchers and doctors to the daily battles we are all fighting.”